The Lord’s Supper

All scripture taken from the authorized KJV translation, all other major translations concur.

There are other institutions we are instructed to do as Christians to outwardly show our belief and faith in Jesus Christ as mediator to our Father, our Lord, Savior, Redeemer, High Priest and King. Some examples of these institutions are baptism, another marriage. With our “physical” baptism, should also result in the outward display of a “New creature” in Christ. God’s love is then reflected through us, by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.  Getting baptized is not a “shoe in” to God’s kingdom. So likewise, woven within the institution of the Lord’s Supper, is the critical responsibility in how we first, gain strength from God’s Word and then, react to various sufferings or afflictions bearing a kind of “Fruit” to God. We are instructed to be “Christ-like” in our reactions to the adversities of this temporary life. The Holy Scriptures and the Lord’s Supper supports this responsibility flawlessly.  How?

 

There are the 3 gospels that contain the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

Matthew 26:26-29     Mark 14:22-25     Luke 22:14-23   and Paul’s letter: 1 Corinthians 11

Let’s refresh this in our minds by pausing to pray for guidance and truth from the Holy Spirit… then read

 Mathew 26:26-29 26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

There are two “elements” of communion. They are given in a specific order. The bread first and then the wine. Remember the order, there is a reason for this.

The Bread

You know that throughout scripture, the “Bread” represents the word of the LORD, as it does in the New Testament, as it came from the Father through Jesus Christ to us.

I encourage you to read John 6:26-59 Here, Jesus makes it very clear that we must “…Eat His Flesh…” and also that “…He is the bread of life…” It’s important to understand this. The High Priests and even some of His disciples did not understand this.

We know Jesus meant that we must digest His words, teachings and testimony spiritually. So, what does it mean to digest it? Digesting it means that the WORD enters our spirit (not flesh) and therefore gives the spirit strength. That strength translates to faith and is a gift is from God.

There are countless scriptures on this... Here are two. Genesis 3 :19   and  Deuteronomy 8:3

Lets take a “spiritual look at Genesis 3:19.  We can also see how this, the first mention of  “bread” can also be viewed spiritually and not just literally.

 

Genesis 3 :19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

We eat the pure word of God by the sweat of our face. Think about that! All the traditions and false teachers we must sift through! You can see then that we have to “work” to get the “bread” or we will become weak the Paul tells us in Corinthians 11.

Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

So then the spiritual understanding of the “bread” was basic and simple.      More scripture on this… Exodus 16:4, Isaiah 55:2, John 6:26-59, Ezekiel 34 is a must read! There are possibly hundreds more. 330 verses in the KJV that contain the word bread. How many are spiritual or literal or both! It’s a treasure hunt brothers!

Notes:

 

 

The Cup

As we will see in the scriptures below, “The Cup” is not a pleasant thing to partake of.

 

The understanding of the “cup” requires a little “treasure hunting”. (Read Proverbs 2:4).

Proverbs 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

Psalms 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

Jeremiah 49:12-13 12For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it.

 13For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.

Matthew 20:22   22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

Matthew 26:39 39And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

 

 Mark 10:39  39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized

 

Mark 14:36 36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

 

John 18:11   11Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

 

Based on the scripture above, Jesus knew the cup He had to drink from was bitter! But He did it for us!

 

We are called by the Father to be Christ-like. We must endure the sufferings in a righteous Christ-like manner as faithful followers of Christ in this sinful and dark world, just as Jesus’ example on the cross. Without God’s help we cannot win this battle.

 

So, what did Jesus mean by what He said in Matthew 26?  Matthew 26:29 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

 

Just a verse ago in 28 he called the cup “His blood”. Now in verse 29 where He calls it the “fruit of the vine”.

This is a huge contrast!

What does this mean?

As Jesus suffered a totally righteous shedding of blood and death, ”shed for many for the remission of sins.  He counts it as “Fruit”. Is it literal fruit or spiritual fruit? It is spiritual fruit, because the result is for the “remission of sins”!

 

As we suffer persecutions, in various forms, as a result of our responding righteously (per Christ’s instructions in the gospels) Then something special happens. We begin to produce “fruit”.  Jesus tells us to “…produce fruit…and also… lay up treasure in heaven…”

 

This is another reason Paul could endure so much suffering for Christ’s testimony!

 

In Matthew 26:29 29 he tells us that “… I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”

 

We are to produce “fruit” by faithfulness to His testimony. YES, that is, our actions or “works”.

More scripture on “the cup”…. Hebrews 12:2-5 1 Corinthians 10:21,  2 Timothy 4:6,   Ezekiel 23:32,  Jeremiah 25: 28, Habakkuk 2: 15-17 If I were write them all here, you will not go “seek” it out for yourself!

 

In summery

The “bread” or “Word” strengthens our faith as we read it or spiritually “eat it”.  Bread = builds Faith

The “Cup” represents the “Action” of the suffering of Christ, and He demonstrates to us the command we have to respond in a righteous “Action” when we suffer the various persecutions and trials of living a Christ-like life.

 

This Christ-like action is a command to us by Jesus!  It’s what He taught us in the “bread of the word”.

So then the “Drinking of the Cup” represents a physical or verbal righteous response to a suffering. 

Drinking of the Cup = Works or action done in faith. Remember when Jesus says in Luke 22:19, “Do this in remembrance of Me?” So, in all our study, persecutions and afflictions, we should remember the price for which we have been bought and redeemed!

 

So, here in the Lord’s Supper, we see the faith and works in inseparable union again! (James 2:14)

 

NOTE: This action of Drinking the cup is only possible with the strength of the Bread or WORD.

Hence the order of bread first then the cup.

So, “chew the cud” of the WORD of the LORD that we might fully understand it and be spiritually strengthened. Then we will be “teachers” by example, that others may see the light of God’s love in us.

 

1 Corinthians 11.

 In the Apostle Paul’s letter, he tells them that they are guilty of the blood of Christ for an unworthy partaking. How is this? Some of them were NOT drinking of the cup in a worthy manner and much more!

 1 Corinthians 11:26   26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

Paul goes on to say that some are ill, sick and even dead. We know he means spiritually in the scriptures below. So, why would we not see this chapter from a spiritual stand point?

 1 Corinthians 11:26-34   30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

When we apply this spiritual meaning of the “Lord’s Supper” and to our lives it should have a huge impact on our “walk” with Christ.  This is why in 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34, you can see why Paul says some are ill, weak and even dead! This is clearly “spiritually”! Is Saint Paul talking to physically sick, weak or dead people here, or “spiritual”?

 

Apply the Lord’s Supper spiritually. Remember how the Apostle Paul talks of the literal and physical action of circumcision, it is only “skin deep”. Circumcision is another clear case and point made in God’s Holy Word that the “physical” can override and overrun the heart of the matter. God wants your whole heart. 

The “Lord’s Supper” contains the duties and responsibilities Jesus speaks of in the gospels! Take communion every chance you get!  Another interesting mention of the “breaking of the bread” is in Acts 2:42. The “drinking of the cup” is not mentioned here. Was it literal or did it have a spiritual significance?

 

Eat the Bread and drink of the Cup like Christ taught us to do!

 

So, I ask, “is this study considered the “meat” of the word for spiritually mature Christians only”?  I say NO! This is one of the “basics” of Christ’s teaching! It’s the “milk”. Turning the other cheek, returning good for evil, showing love as opposed to when you are tempted to show hate. How could you ever do those things without Jesus Christ as your Lord and King? EAT it!  And as bitter as it may be…Drink it! God counts it as “fruit”!

 

There are so many more examples in the Word of God concerning bread and wine. However, it all interlocks. We must pray for guidance and Read on! How often do we skip an earthly meal? You’d be dead! Should we become weak, sick and even die by skipping God’s spiritual meal and drinking the cup in error?

 

God Bless!

 

One of many examples of spiritual bread that gives strength to take action is made in 1 Kings 19: 1-8

 

Elijah, in his faith in God and with God’s help,

 kills 450 prophets of Baal.

Now Jezebel Makes a covenant with her god

to kill Elijah within 24 hours in retaliation for the 450 dead.

Elijah hears of it, an flees a day’s journey into wilderness.

Elijah humbles himself for his lack of faith and prays to The LORD…” “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

An angel of the LORD gives him bread and water.

He rests…

A second time an angel of the LORD says…“Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”

Then he goes on in the strength of that food 40 days and 40 nights = the endurance or “action”

Thought the wilderness = Cup

To the “mount of God” Horeb.

 

The events in order are…

·          Faith = strength

·          Lack of faith = failure

·          Humbleness = repentance

·          Weakness = hunger

·          Food = earthly food and fleshly strength

·          Human Strength = fleshly strength

·          Spiritual food = God’s Word builds faith

·          Spiritual strength = Faith gives strength for action

·          Impossible journey = life is the “action”

·          To God = Heaven, where the treasure and fruit is laid up!